|KALEEN ROLLS OUT NEW BRAND BUILDING CAMPAIGN STARTING WITH REVAMPED LAS VEGAS SHOWROOM
Kaleen's new branding effort includes updating its showrooms with a designer look and prominently showcasing its latest area rugs and high-end broadloom collections.
LAS VEGAS -- Kaleen has revamped its showroom strategy to better reflect a finely-honed brand image and a new marketing campaign now being rolled out.
Kaleen, with headquarters in Mumbai, India, and North American operations in Dalton, Georgia, unveiled the first of its planned showroom redesigns at the summer 2019 Las Vegas Market. The Vegas space will serve as a model for Kaleen's High Point showroom moving toward, and is the first major step in a new marketing and branding effort designed to better tell the Kaleen story.
"Everybody really loved this new look -- some customers even came in asking where the Kaleen showroom was," COO Monty Rathi told RugNews.com. He had decided earlier this year to bow out of Atlanta and invest the company's resources in revamping its Building C, fourth floor space at World Market Center in time for summer market (read full story). "We wanted to make the showroom more designer-oriented with an Anthropologie-like look. Theme-wise we wanted rugs to be laid out on the walls and we wanted the showroom to be more inviting. We added a chill-out area where a customer can come in and relax."
||"Our brand is very premium, and to reflect that, we want the Kaleen brand to have a top-notch look and message." -- Monty Rathi, Kaleen, COO
"In the past, we were showing so many rugs it was overwhelming for the customer," Rathi continued. "Now, we have a more focused approach. We have split the showroom into two sections: area rugs and broadloom. We are targeting more designer high-end retailers on the broadloom side. On the rugs side, we are focusing on top sellers, top collections, outdoor rugs and handmade products. We are not bringing in a lot of machine-made products -- we are targeting the mid- to high-end, which is what we are known for."
Kaleen's renovated showroom carved out more space for relaxing and refreshing -- and recharging phones and laptops.
Major changes in the Vegas showroom included making the company's the broadloom assortment more visible and giving it a fresh designer look, by displaying it on the walls of a lounge-like area that includes a bar, sofas, high-speed WiFi and charging stations. In addition, the revamped showroom carved out space for several lifestyle vignettes highlighting some of Kaleen's latest area rug introductions: Alzada, Atacama, Lustrous and Origami. Rathi said he wanted the showroom to look and feel like a cross between retailers Anthropologie and Restoration Hardware.
"Our brand is premium, but we never focused on that in our branding. We have a broadloom division, which is a high-end look," Rathi said. "We want the Kaleen brand -- a premium brand -- to reflect its top-notch look and message."
Above and below, Kaleen's updated showroom makes its high-quality broadloom assortment more visible, and illustrates custom options.
Updating Kaleen's two showrooms is only one part of an overall move by the company."Everything with Kaleen is going to be new," explained Brian Brigham, Kaleen's recently hired director of marketing and public relations. "We are talking new copy, new photography, new business cards, new website.
"Kaleen has never really told the story of the brand -- who they are as a company and manufacturer. There is an amazing story to tell," Brigham added, noting that his move to the rug industry from another segment of the home furnishings industry allowed him to look at the area rug business with a fresh eye. "I took a look at others in the industry and found out what is special about us. We want to communicate that now -- that is is how we are going to build the brand."
The recently introduced high-end Alzada collection, hand-made of fine hand-spun wool, is now in production and gets top billing in the Kaleen showroom.
Also, part of the new effort will be a direct-to-consumer strategy. "We have never done any business-to-consumer marketing, so in the new marketing plan there is going to be some B-to-C marketing and advertising as well -- trying to build the warm and fuzzies with consumers so that when they make a rug choice they will know what Kaleen stands for. Our story is also about human compassion, eco-friendly manufacturing, and our foundations in India -- We want to get the word out about that."
RETHINKING AREA RUG DISPLAY
Part of the Kaleen showroom update included creating lifestyle vignettes featuring the company's most important new releases. Shown, Lustrous
Prior to the renovation, Kaleen's showroom featured several hanging rug racks, taking up most of the floor space, with a broadloom assortment that was located in the rear of the showroom and not easily visible. "We are already do amazing with our best sellers so instead of having 8x10s on racks, we pulled then down because they don't really need marketing or branding -- people already know them and love them," Brigham said. "We took those top sellers and now show them in 2x3 samples to save space so the showroom feels more open, fresh and airy."
Kaleen now showcases new area rug introductions from the past four markets in the 8x10s -- about 115 rugs. In total about 450 SKUs are shown in the showroom including about 75 2x3 samples, and its popular runners, which were never shown before. "Runners are a huge seller, they are super-popular," Brigham said.
Kaleen moves its well-known best-sellers from 8x10 racks to a 2x3 samples display to open up space on racks for its newest collections.
The vignettes call out some of Kaleen's most important new area rug releases, for example, the high-end Alzada collection, hand-made of fine hand-spun wool. "It is a very expensive rug and we wanted to showcase it in a funky modern way," he said.
"Alzada was released last winter and is now in production," Brigham said, noting that Kaleen introduces its collections in January, with production of those products receiving great feedback ready to release at the summer markets. The new production will help deliver "a really strong fourth quarter, and a good first quarter as well," he said.
Kaleen showcased its very popular runner assortment for the first time in its renovated Las Vegas showroom.
Kaleen, known in the industry for its hand-tufted area rugs, wants to grow that category even more. "We are known for good quality hand-tufted in the industry. And much of the industry is ignoring tufted. We are not. So even though the tufted market has been shrinking, we want more of that business to come to us -- we will continue to focus on handmade texture, which cannot be replicated on the machine side," Brigham explained.
A lifestyle vignette featuring Kaleen's new hand-woven southwest-inspired Atacama collection.